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Emergency housing options in Hawke's Bay being squeezed by swelling summer population

Napier man Rakiora Parker credits beating his synthetic cannabis addiction with having the security of having a roof over his head and being off the street.

"Knowing that you can go behind two locked doors and a nice warm bed and a nice warm blanket - not having to worry if it's going to rain," Mr Parker told 1 NEWS.

He now helps out at an outreach centre in Napier run by Whatever It Takes, which aims to house some of the cities homeless. But that's proving harder to do this time of year.

"Finding even temporary accommodation is nigh on impossible now," General Manager Caroline Lampp told 1 NEWS.

The organisation has been using sites that are normally used for seasonal workers for the horticulture industry. But now those are unavailable as the workers arrive.

"We managed to find spots for one or two of them but some of them sadly returned to the streets because there was no where else to go."

This year has seen the number of applications for social housing on the East Coast soar. In March there were 666, by September there is was 884.

Emergency housing grants increased to $1.5 million spent in the last quarter as well.

Now, there is summer tourism to contend with, providing a big boost for the region’s economy but leaves emergency housing, like motel rooms, in short supply.

Kylie Fernandes who represents motels in the region says they want to help but can't.

"The emergency accommodation is very last minute so people might be ringing looking for accommodation for tomorrow but that's just not going to happen over summer."

"The tourism market is booking 6 to 12 months in advance particularly over the peak period a lot of those bookings are pre-paid so we have to honour those bookings that come in."

Seventeen new transitional homes have been opened in Hawke's Bay this year and the Government says it has plans for over 200 other housing options but they'll be built over the next four years.

Social housing is becoming increasingly difficult to provide, forcing some back on the streets. Source: 1 NEWS